Jan 18th - 10:56 am
With almost all the ballots counted in the 46th Senate District race, Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk holds a 19-vote lead over Republican Assemblyman George Amedore and is the unoffical winner in the race.
There is still one ballot to be counted in Albany County. A newly found ballot in Montgomery County could also be counted, though it would make no difference in the final outcome.
Amedore’s campaign could still ask for a hand recount in the race, but his attorney tells us that is unlikely.
Tkaczyk just released this statement declaring victory:
“It is an incredible privilege to have been selected by the people of the 46th District to serve as their State Senator. No one believed our campaign had a chance in a district hand-carved by Republicans, and yet the power of good ideas and a strong campaign proved itself. Thanks to all those who volunteered both on the campaign itself as well as the successful post-election ballot counting process,” Tkaczyk said.
“I am honored to stand with Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and my fellow Democratic Senators, in pursuing the common sense, progressive agenda that New Yorkers demand. I look forward to hitting the ground running to serve my new constituents because there is no time to waste addressing the many challenges facing our state.”
Her victory makes the official party breakdown in the state Senate: 5 Independent Democrats, 27 Democrats, 30 Republicans, and one Simcha Felder, who is a Democrat conferencing with the GOP.
Bottom line: There are now more Democrats than Republicans in the chamber, making the power-sharing agreement between the IDC and Republicans more necessary. If Amedore had won the seat, the Republican conference (with Felder) would have had 32 members – enough to pass legislation without Democrats or IDC members.
UPDATE: I (Liz) traded texts with IDC spokesman Eric Soufer, who said he’s not yet prepared to issue an official statement on the 46th SD outcome. He did tell me, however, that Tkaczyk’s win will not impact the IDC-GOP coalition – even though the Democrats would now be able to control the chamber outright if the 5 IDC members returned to the fold.
Jan 2nd - 11:50 am
The last second fiscal cliff deal hasn’t done much to temper emotions on Capitol Hill. House Republican leaderships decision to not vote on the Senate’s bill providing $60 billion in aid to areas impacted by Super Storm Sandy has led to a barrage of floor speeches from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Now President Obama is blasting House leaders. In a statement he writes:
It has only been two months since Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as other eastern states. Our citizens are still trying to put their lives back together. Our states are still trying to rebuild vital infrastructure. And so, last month, working closely with the Governors of the affected states, I sent Congress an urgent request to support their efforts to rebuild and recover. The Senate passed this request with bipartisan support. But the House of Representatives has refused to act, even as there are families and communities who still need our help to rebuild in the months and years ahead, and who also still need immediate support with the bulk of winter still in front of us.
When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans.
If the measure is brought up for a vote, it will almost certainly pass the full body of the House. But some House Republicans have said the bill is too big. They don’t want to support a measure that will increase government spending without an offset somewhere else.
Last month, the House Appropriations Committee drafted a smaller measure, about $27 billion. That is a figure they calculate is more in line with the cost of the recovery over the next year. Supporters of the $60 billion dollar figure say the money needs to be promised up front even if the money will be spent over the course of several years.
Here is some video of floor speeches from NY Reps today, including Republican Rep. Pete King who called the House leaderships decision to pull the vote a “knife in the back.” Also speaking today, Reps Bishop, Meeks, Rangel, Maloney, and another Republican, Rep. Tom Reed.
UPDATE: Governors Cuomo and Christie just put out this statement blasting House leaders as well.
“With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bi-partisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor.
This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.
“The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games.”
Nov 7th - 11:08 am
Right now the balance of power in the state senate hangs in the balance. With Eric Ulrich’s concession (which our Nick Reisman tweeted), Democrats have 31 seats to Republicans 30 seats with just two that have not been called – the 41st where Terry Gipsen is ahead of Republican incumbent Steve Saland by roughly 1600 votes – and the razor thin race in the 46th District where Democrat Cecilia Tkacyzk holds a narrow 139 vote lead over Republican George Amedore.
During appearances on TALK 1300am this morning, both Republican Senate Campaign Leader Tom Libous and Democratic Senate Campaign Leader Mike Gianaris were optimistic about their chances – for different reasons.
Libous says he is confident that George Amedore will be the winner in the 46th Senate District bringing their total to 31. While the ballots look against them in the other undecided seat, Libous said he wouldn’t give up on Saland’s race yet.
He also discussed other possible ways the GOP could remain in control. Either through the support of the conference by Democrat Simcha Felder, an orthodox Jew who has stated in the past that he’d consider conference with the GOP if he felt it was best for his district. Gianaris dismissed this idea by suggesting that Felder has said he’d be with the Democrats if they were in power. But, as Liz wrote earlier this week, predicting what Felder will do can be difficult to say the least.
Libous also didn’t close the door on the idea Democratic members of the IDC who worked closely with the GOP over the past 2 years. When asked if he had spoken to IDC leader Jeff Klein, Libous said, “I think those conversations will take place shortly, but they haven’t taken place yet.”
Gianaris dismissed this idea as well. Saying that Klein has expressed that he would never vote for a Republican to lead the Senate. Gianaris went on to put some pressure on Democrats who might be considering flipping saying there was a clear mandate for Democrats. He pointed out that several incumbent Republicans faced closer than expected battles, including Greg Ball, Kemp Hannon, and Marty Golden.
Gianaris will be a guest on Capital Tonight this evening. We have also reached out to Senator Libous to see if he is available.
Nov 7th - 1:45 am
It’s one of the races we’ve been watching that could decide the balance of power in the State Senate. Both Republican George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk are declaring victory.
The full scope of the Senate tally is still very wide open at this point. At this rate it seems that the idea of “Coup Wednesdays” that once haunted my dreams is closer to becoming a reality.
Nov 7th - 1:20 am
Democratic Challenger Sean Patrick Maloney has emerged victorious in the 18th Congressional district race against incumbent Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth. Maloney declared victory early on, and was just announced the actual winner by the Associated Press moments ago.
Meanwhile Hayworth briefly addressed supporters when it looked like votes would be counted throughout the night.
UPDATE: YNN’s Christian Farrell has learned that Hayworth has indeed conceded the race.
Nov 7th - 12:56 am
Rep. Kathy Hochul, who won in a special election last year to fill the vacancy left by Craigslist Congressman Chris Lee, was defeated tonight by former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.
In an early speech, Hochul, a Democrat, didn’t concede, but noted the difficult odds of the district’s GOP enrollment edge.
Meanwhile, Chris Collins gave his victory speech a short time ago. Take a look:
Nov 7th - 12:40 am
Former Rep. Dan Maffei successfully defeated Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, who took his job in GOP wave of 2010.
UPDATE: Rep. Buerkle’s speech to supporters.
Nov 7th - 12:26 am
Even though it was always considered a Republican stronghold, Matt Doheny was unable to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Bill Owens.
In whatever form it’s drawn, the North Country district was represented by the GOP for decades before Owens won the seat in a 2009 special election. Doheny says it’s because the dynamics of the area have changed.
Here is Rep. Owens’s victory speech: